Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Track Beauty of the Week: Yuliya Gushchina Ю́лия Гу́щина

Yuliya Gushchina Ю́лия Гу́щина is this week's Track Beauty!
Photo from Erik van Leeuwen
The sprinter has been a fixture in Russia's crack relay squads for the past years. As a junior, Gushchina won a hard fought 4x400m relay bronze at the World Junior Championships in Kingston. [1] The Russian women, a proven power in the long relays, followed this up with European Junior title the next year. [2] Ever since 2005, Yuliya has been part of almost all of Russia's major senior championship relay teams. 

To date, Gushchina had won 4x400m relay golds at the European Championships (2006) and the World Indoors (2008). Her campaign at the 2008 Beijing Olympics was remarkably fruitful, having been part of the gold medal-winning Russian 4x100m relay quartet. [3] Yuliya also had a 4x400m relay silver and a fourth place finish in the individual 400m dash. [4]

Yuliya is well-known for her versatility. She has personal bests of 11.13s, 22.53s, and 49.28s in the 100m, 200m, and the 400m, respectively. [5] Since her 200m dash silver at the 2006 European Championships, Gushchina have not managed a return to the medal podium in an individual event.

  1. "Yuliya Gushchina." Retrieved 10-24-2012.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. "Yuliya Gushchina." Retrieved 10-24-2012.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Track Beauty of the Week: Brigitte Foster-Hylton

Brigitte Foster-Hylton is this week's Track Beauty!

Photo from the Jamaica Gleaner
In the run-up to the London Olympic Games, Foster-Hylton was having a stellar string of performances. Her 12.51s clocking in Kingston (5/5/2012) was inferior only to Sally Pearson's 12.40, 12.49s, and 12.49s in the season top list. At 37-years of age, with a complete collection of World Championship medals in her curriculum vitae, London was Foster-Hylton's last shot at Olympic glory. 

But then again, the sprint hurdles is an unpredictable event. The Jamaican crashed out of the qualifying rounds after clipping a hurdle badly. Although she managed to finish the race, her substandard time was not enough for her to progress to the semifinals. Foster-Hylton was inconsolable.

Ever since placing second at the Central American and Carribean Championships in 1999, [1] the Jamaican sprint hurdler has been on the fast track to success. In her Olympic debut in Sydney, Foster-Hylton made it as far to the final. She made up for a semifinals exit in Athens with her sixth place finish in Beijing. [2]

Read: "Brigitte To Bid Farewell"

The highlight of Foster-Hylton's career was winning the World Championship gold in Berlin back in 2009, where she ran 12.51s to egde out  Priscilla Lopes-Schliep (12.54s) and compatriot Delloreen Ennis-London (12.55s).

  1. "Brigitte Foster-Hylton." Retrieved 10-14-2012.
  2. Ibid.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Track Beauty of the Week: Goldie Sayers

Goldie Sayers is this week's Track Beauty!

Amidst the pouring British rain, Goldie stamped her class on a loaded javelin field a month before the London Olympic Games. Sayers threw a new personal best of 66.17m in Crystal Palace to snatch the win at that particular leg of the Diamond League. But her emphatic victory came at a huge cost, as Goldie injured her right arm in the process.

Sayers at the Crystal Palace. (Photo from Robbie Dale)
She still managed to compete at her home Olympic Games, albeit at a sub-par quality. Sayers crashed out of her third Olympics without reaching the final.

For the better part of the past decade, Sayers has been the poster girl of British javelin throwing. As a junior, she placed sixth at the World Junior Championships in Chile. [1] She did even better at the European Junior Championships in Grosetto a year later, winning the silver medal with a throw of 55.40m. [2]

Her first senior final came at the Helsinki World Championships in 2005, where she came in  at 12th place. Although she threw three centimeters shorter than at the Athens Olympics,  Goldie fared much better in Helsinki in terms of overall placing. Sayers almost barged into the medals in Beijing, but her impressive 65.75m throw was only good enough for fourth place.

Judging by her sterling performance in Crystal Palace, 2012 should have been Goldie's year had she not succumbed to injury.

  1. "Goldie Sayers." Retrieved 10-7-2012.
  2. Ibid.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Track Beauty of the Week: Tatiana Grigorieva Татьяна Григорьев

Tatiana Grigorieva Татьяна Григорьев is this week's Track Beauty!

As a 15-year old kid back in 2000, one of the very first athletics articles I've read was about the glamor couple of Grigorieva and Viktor Chistiakov Виктор Чистяков. Grigorieva was one of the most stunning female athletes ever to grace the sport. Hence, it is about time that she gets some air time in Track Beauty of the Week. More importantly, the Russian-born Australian was an early pole vault pioneer.

Prior to making the big shift to vaulting, Grigorieva was a talented intermediate hurdler [1]. She took up pole vaulting when the couple migrated to Australia in 1997. [2] In light of her hurdling background and natural athleticism, her improvement in the relatively new discipline took dramatic turns in her first few years. From clearing 3.90m in 1997, Grigorieva attained a new personal best of 4.50m in 1999, two years after taking up vaulting. [3]

Grigorieva won the silver medal for her adopted country at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, the first time the event was held for female athletes. Tatiana soared over 4.55m to clinch silver behind American Stacey Dragila (4.60m). In a pole vault career spanning almost 10 years, Tatiana had amassed two Australian titles (1999 and 2001), a Commonwealth Games silver (2006), and a Commonwealth Games title (2002). [4] 

  1. "Tatiana Grigorieva." Retrieved 10-3-2012.
  2. Ibid. 
  3. " - Athletes - Tatiana Grigorieva." Retrieved 10-3-2012.
  4. "Tatiana Grigorieva."

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


In a country that supposedly takes pride in its bloodless People Power Revolt of 1986, a draconian law has been passed curbing freedom of expression.